Zaro stepped into a room. It was a clean and spacious room. It looked well ventilated, its walls looked like were covered with glass. What puzzled Zaro was that the room didn’t have any chairs nor tables but there were people scattered around it. Some people were standing, aloof, in pairs or to the maximum of three. Others were either sleeping but a majority were sitting, leaning against walls and with their legs positioned like pregnant women in a giving-birth positions. A lot of these sitting people had their heads supported by their hands whose elbows were also supported by the upward-pointing knees.
Zaro got it, there was nothing very strange in the room. That was somehow understandable, what would he expect to see in a place full of different addicts anyway! A heroin or Vodka party in the rehabilitation centre? No, this looked sensible for a rehabilitation centre.
Zaro had a dream earlier that day before his visiting. He had dreamed that a car that was transporting a very sick girl on a life-support machine had an accident. Zaro was among the bystanders and rescuers. After cutting through some metals, Zaro and his colleagues had finally seen the body of a young girl. Motionless. The young girl’s body lay motionless. Zaro had curiously looked at the chest of the girl. He had noticed some movements. She is still breathing, she is alive! He had screamed. He had also noticed that the life-support machine’s cables and tubes were loosely connected, any slight movement would disengage them and that would mean an instant demise of the girl. For a moment, some unpleasant thoughts had started crossing his mind; If she had died, what would she have said to God? Was she clean enough to face Him? Was she ready for what was to come?
Zaro started to sweat. His throat became completely dry and his saliva hot. Yes, he was afraid. Not for the girl, no- but for himself. Those questions which were being formed in his mind were of his own subconscious influence. They were a reflection of his own fear. The fear that was triggered by a terminally sick girl in the face of an imminent death. He did not want his brain formulate any further questions. Still, his brain betrayed him. “What if I was that girl and in this case, unfortunately, I had to die?” Zaro wondered, and “with my addiction, how would I meet my Creator?
The next morning, he decided to visit a rehab centre. Not to give himself up but to have a glimpse of what happens there.
Zaro moved towards one corner of the room, in that way he had a pretty good view of everything.
‘Hey you!’ an old man screamed whilst looking at Zaro and Zaro moved to close a small distance between him and the old man.
‘Which part of Hell will we meet?’ the man asked. Zaro got angry, his forehead seemingly full of bursting blood vessels. How dare he asked him that. It was him (the old man) who was in a damn rehab and it was him fit for Hell.
It was as if the old man was a psychic or something of that sort. How else would he ask a visiting person to join him in Hell unless he was sure the visitor was himself an addict? This made Zaro more angry.
‘You alone will dwell in Hell,’ Zaro reacted, ‘I will go to Paradise and I have no intention of joining your club in Hell.’
Another man standing next to Zaro joined in the conversation. He told Zaro that the man he was arguing with was very ill and that he had very few days to live. Zaro was confused. A man like that was supposed to be in a hospital- not a rehab centre.
Zaro looked at the old man again and this time the old man asked the same question while crying; ‘ Which part of Hell will we meet.’
The tears of the old man opened Zaro’s head. The man didn’t hate him. The man was just afraid. Afraid of what would happen once he met God. Zaro remembered the girl he had seen in his dream. He realized the old man was afraid the same way he, Zaro, had been afraid the moment he had seen the girl on life-support machine. The only difference was that this time, the old man really had little time to live.
Zaro knelt down hugging the man. He started whispering- answering his question. Not the Hell-question, but the indirect question the man was asking.
‘Tell our Lord, God,’ Zaro started, ‘ that you tried your best. That you tried to change and that you died trying.’ This time Zaro was sobbing too.
‘Implore to Him,’ Zaro continued, ‘ That His people on Earth are doing all what they can do to change. Recount to Him how we try as much as possible to change and how, we sometimes, fail to reach our ultimate form of change because we are not perfect. Relate to Him that because of this failure we end up being frustrated, humiliated and afraid. Report to him, that despite all this we keep on trying. Present, that to Him, my friend.’
But by the moment Zaro unwound his hands from the man, the man was giving out his last remaining air. It was as if the man didn’t want to take anything of this world even if it meant making his lungs a vacuum space.
Zaro laid the lifeless body on the floor. He was happy that the man died trying. Somehow, dying like that in the state of trying, gave Zaro a sense of relief. He was sure that such people, who die in a state of trying to change, had/have a greater chance to be forgiven- for they died while fighting. They did not surrender to their whims. They fought a good war. And he was happy he met the old man.
Moreover, he had given the old man what to say to his Lord. The message was not an excuse of any kind. It was a real message and truly God would listen to such a genuine complaint. After all God is merciful and He surely, will forgive those who fight hard for His mercy.
Zaro exited the room. In his heart vowing, “I have, from now, quit my addiction or else I will die trying”